Budgeting consumes a massive amount of time and resources. It's a stressful and busy time.

Are there ways to improve the effectiveness of the investment we make in the budget process? Can we make better budgeting decisions that lead to higher performance?

There are options within and beyond traditional budgeting. Each company should consider these options and decide which could improve their budgeting process. Budgeting has many benefits that we can continue to capture and build upon.

This course starts by outlining the benefits and challenges of budgeting. Throughout this course, I'll provide tips and alternative budget systems that can mitigate these challenges and capture more benefits.

I'll explore a series of budgeting alternatives. We'll look at rolling forecasts, zero-based budgeting, activity-based budgeting, and many others. We'll also look at operating without a budget. Each alternative has pros and cons that I'll list.

Each lesson in this section gives an overview of the budget alternative to help you decide whether you want to pursue that alternative further. Even if you don't fully adopt these alternatives, you can find ideas to improve your budgeting process.

The course concludes by revisiting budgeting process challenges and how the tips and alternatives presented in the course can address or mitigate those challenges.

This course is part of a three-part series I call Better Budgeting. The three parts are:

You can watch all three parts in the order above or watch any part as a stand-alone course.

Note: This course is also available in Text Base Format:
Better Budgeting (Text Based Course)

The course author has been the CFO, SVP of Finance, or Director of Operations of companies with just a few employees to companies with $3 billion in assets and hundreds of employees. He's led, facilitated, or participated in the budgeting process many times.

Course Key Concepts: Budget, Budgeting, Rolling Forecasts, Activity-Based Budgeting, Zero-Based Budgeting, Driver-Based Budgeting.

Learning Objectives
  • Identify budgeting benefits and challenges.
  • Recall the differences between traditional costing and activity-based costing.
  • Recognize the pros and cons of budgeting alternatives.
Last updated/reviewed: October 11, 2023
4 Reviews (18 ratings)


Member's Profile
This might be the most comprehensive and educational webinar on budgeting. Well organized, thoroughly researched, and full of actionable insight. Outstanding and kudos to the author, thanks for doing this.

Member's Profile
I had no idea so many different kinds of budgeting existed. Thanks for this handy overview, I hope to never be subjected most of these budget methods.

Anonymous Author
Good infoirmation, but still just scratches the surface. Would like to see more in depth examples.

Anonymous Author
The content is well organized, it concise and direct to the point.

Course Complexity: Foundational
No advanced preparation or prerequisites are required for this course.
Education Provider Information
Company: Illumeo, Inc., 75 East Santa Clara St., Suite 1215, San Jose, CA 95113
Contact: For more information regarding this course, including complaint and cancellation policies, please contact our offices at (408) 400- 3993 or send an e-mail to .
Instructor for this course
Course Syllabus
  Welcome and Overview to Budgeting Alternatives4:40
  Benefits of Budgeting8:24
  REVIEW QUESTIONS: Benefits of Budgetingquiz
  Budgeting Challenges13:02
  Rolling Forecasts15:45
  Flexible Budgeting12:30
  Activity Based Budgeting17:32
  Driver Based Budgeting9:42
  REVIEW QUESTIONS: Driver Based Budgetingquiz
  Zero Based Budgeting7:41
  Conditional Budgeting8:06
  Value Proposition Budgeting8:20
  Operating Without a Budget17:28
  REVIEW QUESTIONS: Operating Without a Budgetquiz
  Key Takeaways11:28
  Better Budgeting: Budgeting Alternatives2:14:38
  Slides: Better Budgeting: Budgeting AlternativesPDF
  Better Budgeting: Budgeting Alternatives GlossaryPDF